Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and my heart is overflowing with thankfulness – for my husband who lives out his faith, loves the kids and me faithfully, and works diligently at his own work, but also helps me with countless behind the scenes tasks for 2:10, for the joy of having at least some of our kids with us for several days, and for work that I absolutely love. I am incredibly grateful for the hundreds and hundreds of clients that I have had the privilege of working with through the years!
I feel incredibly blessed to finally be working within my “sweet spot” – that area where a person’s aptitudes, personality, values, and deepest interest converge – and I love being able to help my clients work towards their own sweet spots.
My encouragement to all though is not to wait until you have found your sweet spot to be grateful and happy at work and home. Every “bad” job or work role teaches you more about who you are and what you have been created to do. There is tremendous joy on the journey, people to connect with and invest in, skills to learn, character to develop, impact to be made wherever you are.
And there are tremendous career and life advantages to cultivating a positive mindset and optimistic outlook. Shawn Achor, an award-winning Harvard professor, speaker, and author of The Happiness Advantage, writes in his book, “Waiting to be happy limits our brain’s potential for success, whereas cultivating positive brains makes us more motivated, efficient, resilient, creative, and productive, which drives performance upward.”
If you have never seen Achor’s TED talk on how gratitude and happiness lead to more success at work, then I highly recommend it. Click here to watch his 12 minute talk.
He outlines ways to train your brain to become more positive. He says, “In just a two-minute span of time done for 21 days in a row, we can actually rewire your brain, allowing your brain to actually work more optimistically and more successfully.”
Achor recommends doing the following for 21 days in a row:
- Write down three new things that you are grateful for each day to influence your brain to retain the pattern of scanning the world, not for the negative, but for the positive first
- Journal about one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours to allow your brain to relive it
- Exercise – this teaches your brain that your behavior matters
- Meditation allows your brain to get over the cultural ADHD that we’ve been creating by trying to do multiple tasks at once and allows our brains to focus on the task at hand
- Do one random act of kindness – this is a conscious act of kindness, such as writing one positive email praising or thanking someone
I am so thankful for each of you and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!